SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WMBD) — Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth were joined by several of their colleagues Friday to pen a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to urge them to expand protections in its new proposal to safeguard communities and the environment from coal ash.

“We write to provide comment on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed changes to the coal combustion residuals (CCR), or ‘coal ash,’ rule for inactive, or ‘legacy,’ CCR surface impoundments and CCR management units. We appreciate EPA’s efforts to close the egregious loophole exempting legacy CCR impoundments from compliance,” wrote the Senators.

The senators expressed that they are pleased with most of the proposal, but wish that the EPA would “take additional steps to strengthen community and environmental protections.”

The senators continued, “While we are pleased with the expanded compliance requirements in this proposal, we remain concerned with aspects of CCR impoundment closures, particularly those sited in or close to frontline communities, and we remain concerned about gaps in regulation of both legacy ponds and legacy landfills.”

The senator’s main wish is to get the EPA to “finalize the rule to cover CCR unit closers and CCR use, including all legacy ponds and landfills, and commit to using enforcement discretion to tackle the worst polluters.”

They are looking forward to working with the EPA, Biden, the states, and constituents to keep the CCR from posing a threat down the line due to coal ash issues.

The senators that joined Durbin and Duckworth in the letter were Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Jeffrey Merkley, Dianne Feinstein, Chris Van Hollen, Sheldon Whitehouse, Benjamin Cardin, and Richard Blumenthal.